Driven by passion in the pursuit of excellence, Cine Italia Design and its dedicated team of designers, artisans and craftsmen, are responsible for some of the best and luxurious interiors, full of concept and devotion. From exquisite hand-crafted pieces of period art to cutting edge contemporary carbon-fibre designs, Cine Italia Design is able to create interiors that are chic, stunning and as individual as its clients. Boca do Lobo talked with principal designer, Steven Thorne, to know what’s behind its passion and inspiration.
Being in love with our work is always the key to achieve better results. Are you in love with your job? What do you love the most about being an interior designer?
I have never classified being an interior designer as work, let alone a job. It is more like a professional sports person that is paid to play a sport that he or she loves. My chosen career as an interior designer is all consuming. I never really consider myself not working because I am constantly looking, reading or searching for inspiration that will help me to achieve a desired look or functionality. Whether it be product designing or interior designing, after nearly 40 years in this industry I am still as passionate as the day I started.
Do you have a favorite project or a favorite story behind one of your projects?
I had a project where two rooms needed to be knocked into one, but the client still wanted some form of separation. My design was to produce a wall, which became a marine fish tank – hugely complex with several filter tanks, specialist pumps, heaters and lighting that provided sunlight and moonlight. By designing the wall in this particular, the effect was constantly changing with different sea fish, live coral, sea horses, jelly fish and urchins swimming around. The result was stunning. My client told us that they would turn their seating to face the marine wall, absolutely spellbound by its beauty and fascinated by the colour and shapes of its occupants. That project gave me an immense sense of pride and satisfaction knowing my client and their friends got so much pleasure from my design.
How important is a good chemistry between you and your clients to achieve better results?
It is extremely important for me to establish a good rapport with my clients. It makes working and understanding each other so much easier and I am certain from my experiences that the finished projects have achieved better results when we have both been on the same wave length.
To conquer such a demanding audience, is truly important to be informed about the latest trends on the field. How do you do this?
Knowledge is everything and I have spent a lifetime travelling the world, attending exhibitions and trade fairs. Most importantly though has been going to see actual companies that produce their products from their own factories and meeting artisans of all skills. It still is a major part of my role within the company today, because we truly are a bespoke company. These unique suppliers are the backbone of my design and inspirations.
How would you describe your style? Do you have any personal “signature”?
I wouldn’t necessarily assign myself to a particular style; whether it be classical, traditional or contemporary; I would say my influence is more fusion of designs. I can be a purist and will happily work within the constraints of a buildings period if so required, but if left to my style and taste then it leans more towards a buildings proportions and the objects that relate within the room or space.
All artists have some kind of inspirations, and interior designers are no exception. So, what or who really inspires you?
I know it’s an old cliché but travelling inspires me. Seeing new cultures, people, buildings and art often leave me in awe as I discover new and old trends. I also get inspiration from nature, especially in colour.
Is there any project in the world you’d like it had been made by you?
There are many projects and buildings that I admire and I am a big supporter of our architects, engineers and technicians of today. If I had to choose any building where magnificence is achieved both in structure and beauty, it has to be St Peter’s Basillica in Rome. For me, no building as ever come close to its shear splendor. Rome is not only my favourite city in the world, but also the country of the true artisan.
Choosing the right piece for a design set might seem an easy task. However, it takes a lot of time and attention to find the perfect match. Which advices you have for those who do not know how to start a challenge like this?
Choosing the right piece for a design has many implications before you can be satisfied it matches perfectly to the rest of the project. Irrespective of the type of item, the most important factor is that it has the right feel or if looking through a brochure it has the right look. It goes without saying that you need to see that the size is correct so that it fits proportionately within a scheme. Even if the item is contemporary and the room is classical, there needs to be juxtaposition or a harmony, even though they run on separate parallels. When toning the room to the correct frequency, it’s essential that you understand how light (normally artificial) can change the structural appearance of a room as well as its colour. Seeking professional assistance in this department to maximize the intended desire of the object is key.
Which are your favorite brands, those that can never be missing in your projects?
Because my style tends to be fusion, I usually use one or two pieces in a room design. Usually I won’t just focus on using one company, even when designing bathrooms and kitchens, instead I combine pieces small artisan companies to produce a unique result. A few of my favorites are: Pozzoli, Flexform, Milldue, Visionnaire, Armani, Sigmal 2, Reflex, Boca Do Lobo and Partners, Serip.
For over 37 years, Cine Italia Design has delivered the complete design service to the most exacting requirements of its discerning clients and Boca do Lobo is proud of being a part of it.